CANDLELIGHT VIGIL FOR KILLED GAZA CHILDREN
By: Khanyisani Dlomo
Many from the greater Durban community are expected to join a candlelight peace vigil in Durban in honour of Palestinian children who have lost their lives during Israel’s current attack on Gaza.
The Palestinian death toll in Gaza stands at nearly 1,900 of which over 400 are children. On the Israeli side, 64 Israeli soldiers and three civilians have died since the fighting began in early July.
Organiser Nina Butler said that the vigil, which will be held in Essenwood Park on Saturday morning, is about showing solidarity and mourn the lives of the victims.
“The order of events is to have the community join together in silence with their candles, and to read out the names of the deceased,” Butler told JournalismIziko.
“I believe that children should not be victims of war and political violence. The recent invasion of Gaza by the Israeli forces was carried out in a manner in contravention of international humanitarian laws that are set up specifically to protect both children and civilians in war.
“We will be reading out the names of the deceased children to acknowledge their humanity… and we will end this with a few minutes of silence. We will then invite people to recite a few short poems about children, their vitality and fragility.”
Activist Saydoon Sayed told JournalismIziko, “The intention is not to have a political rally or picket but to remember the children, and to name them, thus acknowledging in a small way their humanity, and the need for the global community to mourn their lives, which it currently appears unwilling to do.”
There will be people who will lie down with candles on their hands. A large poster saying, “In memory of the children killed in Gaza” will be displayed and names of the victims will be read.
It set to attract religious communities of all religions, as there will also be a moment of silence in a communal inter-faith prayer.
Meanwhile on the same day, up to one hundred thousand are expected in the largest public march in South African history – demanding decisive action from the SA government in protest against the Israeli attacks, killings, displacement and destruction in Gaza.
The march takes place on Women’s Day to celebrate the mothers and sisters of Palestine who stand steadfast against Israeli oppression.